Originally Published: November 17, 2018 9:29 p.m.
Pills laced with fentanyl are circulating in the Prescott area
Here’s what you can do about it
Enough is enough. In recent months our community has buried young people and taken others to the hospital with uncertain futures because there are dealers in this community selling disguised and deadly fentanyl-laced pills and other street drugs to our children.
Yes, a portion of the responsibility also falls on our youth who are chasing a high, but these dealers are selling a land-mine killer drug, and they know it. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin and up to 100 times more potent then morphine. One pill taken unaware can overdose and kill. And it has.
There have been more synthetic opioid overdose deaths in Yavapai County than any other type of overdose death. In just the first half of 2018 there have been 42 fatal overdoses.
Our Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking task force reports nearly 70 percent of all their arrests involving fentanyl were specifically these mimic pills sometimes stamped with “M-30” to give the appearance of typical, less potent prescription drugs like the painkiller Oxycodone. Fentanyl can also be sold in capsules, as a powder, spiked on blotter paper, mixed with marijuana and cocaine or substituted for heroin.
This masked drug is highly addictive, creating a lucrative business opportunity for drug pushers. Some experts say the reason more dealers are lacing street drugs with fentanyl is “intentional adulteration” to expand the population of addicted opioid users in a community.
We must do something, and it must be now before another one of our children is killed.
Parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches and business leaders, it’s time we take a stand together.
PANT tells us there are approximately 50 drug dealers in our community peddling fentanyl.
The Daily Courier is announcing today that we are donating $10,000 to Yavapai Silent Witness specifically earmarked to help take these dealers and their drugs off our streets and out of our children’s hands. Silent Witness will parcel the reward money in amounts they feel is most effective.
We challenge other local businesses and organizations to join us. Let’s send a message to these dealers that they are not welcome here. Let’s send a message to our children that they are worth fighting for.
If you know of a dealer selling fentanyl-laced drugs in our community, call Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232. You never have to give your name.
Publisher's Note: If your business or organization wants to join the Courier in this effort to boost local rewards and get fentanyl dealers off our streets, Silent Witness asks that you follow the Courier's lead and donate the money directly to Yavapai Silent Witness. Please do not collect funds independently for a bulk donation as this can cause consumer skepticism and disallow a tax deduction. To donate, contact Yavapai Silent Witness at 928-777-7266 or send your donation to Yavapai Silent Witness, P.O. Box 2524, Prescott, AZ 86302.
See related story: ‘Overdose Epidemic’ forum Nov. 19